A temporary seawall structure has been installed along Cockle Bay Beach, Howick, to minimise the risk of further erosion following a storm in January. However, a more permanent solution is urgently needed.
“The storm on 5 January eroded a section of reserve close to the only road in and out of the area,” says Paul Klinac, Auckland Council's manager of coastal and geotechnical services.
“More unsettled weather is predicted, so we want to protect the remaining area of reserve and infrastructure while completing the design for a more permanent response. This is likely to include an extension of the seawall.”
“What we have done to date is only temporary and would not withstand another series of storms like last month’s, so we need to fast track what we do next.”
"A seawall extension as an immediate response will provide urgent protection to the reserve and pōhutukawa trees but the council will continue to work with the local board and community to consider further responses."
Mr Klinac’s team had already been working with Howick Local Board and Auckland Transport to manage erosion and sand replenishment in Howick. Areas including Cockle Bay, Eastern Beach, Bucklands Beach and Mellons Bay are considered priorities but no decisions have yet been made.
Tackling coastal erosion a priority
Managing coastal erosion and sand replenishment on the east coast is a key priority in the recently adopted Howick Local Board Plan. The board has previously advocated for regional funding to tackle the issue and will continue to do so as part of the 10-year Budget process.
Acting Howick Local Board Chair Katrina Bungard says the local board will consider options at its business meeting on 19 February.
“As a local board we absolutely understand and support that investment to manage erosion is needed and we can see that Cockle Bay and Mellons Bay now require urgent action,” she says.
Pōhutukawa on the mend
A large pōhutukawa was damaged in the storm and its roots were exposed. While previously recommended for removal, it is now being nursed back to health.
Soil has been placed around the roots and an arborist will add more over the next few weeks.